Two weeks after becoming the only player from a historically black college and university (HBCU) selected in the NFL Draft, defensive back Isaiah Bolden has officially signed with the New England Patriots.
Bolden was a seventh round draft choice, the 245th overall in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Terms for Bolden’s contract were not released, but the NFLPA’s collective bargaining agreement has set a $750k annual salary floor for those selected in the 2023 NFL Draft. As one of the last players picked in the draft, Bolden is near the bottom of that scale.
“This is something I’ve been dreaming about for my whole life. I can’t even explain what’s going through my mind right now,” he told the New England Patriots media team after being drafted.
While Isaiah Bolden has a bigger contract than undrafted free agents, rookies like South Carolina State’s Shaq Davis and Arkansas-Pine Bluff’s Mark Evans II received sizable bonuses as undrafted free agents. Both received signing bonuses over $200k.
But Bolden held the distinction of being the only HBCU player selected in this year’s NFL Draft.
“It means a lot to me, having that chip on my shoulder, carrying the weight of the HBCUs,” Bolden said. “I got something to prove. There’s a lot of talented guys out there and I gotta carry that chip on my shoulder for all HBCUs.”